Quote of the Day - He who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount.
A three- to four- pound rabbit is missing from his New York apartment, but that's the least of Antoine Yates' worries. Two years ago, he was mauled by "Ming," a 10-foot long "pet" Siberian tiger he kept in his apartment, and was taken to a Philadelphia hospital for treatment of his severe lacerations, which included exposed bone. A friend of mine who is a curator at the Los Angeles Zoo described the relationship of tiger claws and human skin to be roughly the same as human fingernails to onion paper. What may be playful to a full-grown, 450-pound wild cat with leather-thick skin can be deadly to you and me.
Until that fateful day, Mr. Yates apparently didn't appreciate that possibility. He had raised Ming from a cub, along with a hatchling now named "Al," which has turned into a six-foot long alligator. Yates also kept a small rabbit. After his recovery, Mr. Yates was sentenced to five months in jail for reckless endangerment. He also brought suit against the City of New York for the NYPD's alleged violation of his constitutional rights based on his allegation that the police unlawfully searched his apartment and seized the animals.
Last time I checked, the Constitution didn't contain either a tiger- or alligator-search clause.
Ming and Al now reside in a animal shelter in Ohio, but there's been no word about the rabbit. U.S. District Court Judge Sidney Stein, who dismissed Yates' claims, noted, "The whereabouts of the rabbit have not been ascertained, but there is no indication in the record that Al the alligator was questioned in that regard. The court suggests he may be more knowledgeable on this issue than he disgorged to date."